Cardiff City report £30m loss, accounts show

Mehmet Dalman (right) said Cardiff City is on course to be debt free Mehmet Dalman (right) said Cardiff City is on course to be debt free

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Cardiff City lost £30 million in the season they were promoted to the Premier League, latest accounts reveal.

The club's overall debt has risen to a £118m, with just over half, £66m, owed to owner Vincent Tan.

But Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman said the club was on course to becoming debt free.

"We inherited a lot of debt and are in the process of paying off a lot of that debt," he told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

Mr Dalman said Malaysian billionaire owner Mr Tan had put up to £150m into the club since 2010.

Start Quote

I don't think they [fans] should be worried. We've gone into this with our eyes open”

End Quote Mehmet Dalman Cardiff City chairman

Debt was being converted into shares and once the club was debt free, Mr Dalman said Cardiff City would continue to build and would be in a position to sign better players.

"It's so important we're a united club right across the board," he added.

He said fans should not be concerned at the scale of the figures mentioned.

Mr Dalman said: "I don't think they should be worried. We've gone into this with our eyes open. We want to get rid of the debt by converting to equity.

"That means Vincent Tan will own this club 98%. And it will have no debt.

"If we remain in the Premier League, debt will not exist and profit will begin to accumulate which means better players, better football and so on."

The club's chief executive Simon Lim said in the summary to the accounts: "Our plans and investment have been vindicated."

The accounts filed with Companies House show:

  • In the year ending 31 May 2013 the football club made operating loss of £30.9m, up from almost £13m the previous season.
  • Wages and salaries accounted for £27m, a jump from £18.5m the previous year.

Money owed amounts to £118m, with the largest part due to Mr Tan, the accounts suggest.

But more money for screening games and Mr Tan keeping his pledge to take shares in place of cash will keep the club solvent, a supporters' group believes.

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Keith Morgan, a chartered accountant who sits on the board of Cardiff City Supporters Trust, said the figures show a "worry level of losses" just as the club's income dropped from £20m to £17m.

But both the losses and the debt should be covered by being in the Premier League and Mr Tan's commitments, said Mr Morgan.

Mr Morgan said: "It is a worrying level of debt, though just over half of it is owed to Mr Tan.

"He has promised to convert all of his loan into shares. If he does, it effectively means the club become debt free.

"If he doesn't, it remains in the same position financially. The debt has gone up but then nothing has worsened, it is money owed to the owner.

"But if he pulls the rug, they're knackered."

'Winning promotion'

Mr Morgan said he expected the club to make a profit of £20m-£30m from its first season in the Premier League, with most of the coming from television rights.

In his statement on the accounts, dated 18 December 2013, Mr Lim said: "Our aim has always been to see the football club playing in the Barclays Premier League and in winning promotion last year from the NPower Championship as champions our plans and investments have been vindicated.

"Promotion to the Barclays Premier League has been a great achievement for our football club, our Malaysian owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan and the many thousands of the football club's supporters."

Mr Lim said investment from the club's Malaysian owners since 2010 had helped resolve many of the club's historic financial issues and put in place "robust management procedures."

He also said the club believed investment in players of £35m was enough to make Cardiff City "a stable and competitive" team in the Premier League.

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